Amid the drivel that came out of the Television Critics Association winter press tour was this nugget from The Hollywood Reporter:
“CBS’ new Nancy Drew will look very different should the network move forward with the reboot. CBS Entertainment President Glenn Geller revealed … that the network’s reimagining of the iconic character will be diverse.”
Mr. Geller went on to say that the new Nancy, still solving mysteries in her 30s, might be African-American, or Asian, or Latino. “I’d be open to any ethnicity,” he said.
First thought: This is like remaking “Shaft” with Jeff Foxworthy or hiring Denzel Washington to revive Charlie Chan.
Second thought: This stuff has been done before, with varying degrees of success. Maybe Mr. Geller isn’t throwing away development money better earmarked for “NCIS: Tybee Island.” (Michael Weatherly runs his own half-assed team while chatting up cougars.)
Nancy Drew has been the subject of dozens of books, two TV series, plenty of video games and a run of movies that started in the late 1930s. The character was invented by a book packager, Edward Stratemeyer, who was looking for a female equivalent to his earlier creation, the Hardy Boys.
The famous names are also linked by “The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries,” a series on ABC in the late 1970s. Pamela Sue Martin played a version of Nancy in her early 20s.
On the book side, the Stratemeyer Syndicate (run by his daughters after he died) provided plot outlines; the stories were written by moonlighting newspaper reporters. Along the way, various parties had creative differences about how Nancy Drew was to be portrayed.
She was born white in 1930, but perhaps Mr. Geller’s idea has merit.
I’ll close today by making you feel old. Ms. Martin, who runs a theater company in Idaho, just turned 63.